Dorothy Whiting, formerly of Cheyenne and Sundance, Wyoming; Harlingen, Texas; and Windsor, Colorado, died on November 12, 2012. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, March 5, 1921, to Leon and Cecelia Sperry, she is survived by her children Cary Alburn (Marilyn Brown) of Fort Collins; Candace Alburn of Durango; stepson James Whiting of Phoenix; grandchildren Autumn Todd of Albuquerque; Craig Alburn (Ann) of Laramie; Nathan Alburn (Laurie) of Fort Collins; great grandchildren Levi and Caylee Alburn of Laramie; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Cary Alburn Jr., her husband John Whiting Jr., and siblings Charles Sperry and Mary Lee Scriven.
Relentlessly stubborn, Mom always did things “her way”. When Cary Alburn Jr. asked her to marry him soon after America’s entry into WWII, she left her “comfort zone” in Cleveland Heights for the Kansas prairie, where he was on active duty at Fort Riley. She followed him from post to post as he trained to fly in the Army Air Corps. Her very first airplane flight was with him, riding in the bomb bay of a B-25 at La Junta!
After WWII ended, tragedy struck when Cary was killed flying a P-51 with the Wyoming Army Air Guard. Mom stubbornly decided we would remain in Cheyenne instead of returning to Ohio.
As a single mom, Mom successfully maintained our home, teaching us the values of hard work, honesty, and integrity, and imbuing each of us with our own versions of her streak of independence.
She married John Whiting Jr. in 1956. After all of us kids had left home and tiring of the “big city rat race”, Mom and Pop moved to Sundance, integrating themselves into the town and developing enduring friendships there.
They moved to Harlingen after wintering there for several years, where Mom became the office manager for a large medical practice. Pop died soon after they returned to Sundance, but Mom went to work for the Sundance medical clinic, where she continued to work until she retired at age 75. She left Sundance for Windsor in 1996, to be closer to her children.
Mom became a local fixture as she walked throughout Windsor in all sorts of weather. Shortly after the tornado struck in 2008, she infamously “took on” a young and very surprised National Guardsman, angrily wagging her cane at him when he refused to allow her to return to her home.
Mom was a superbly talented artist and an incredibly gifted cook and baker, often treating those who had done her small favors to a large plate of delicious cookies at Christmas.
Mom stubbornly lived alone at her Windsor home, until a few months after it had been repaired after the tornado, when she decided to move to the Residence At Oakridge, an assisted living facility in Fort Collins. The family thanks the Oakridge staff, for their patience, caring, and many expressions of love, because Mom always told us, “I’m so happy living here.”
Her ashes will be scattered. Her “funeral”, at her insistence not a “celebration of life”, was held in Windsor on November 17, 2012. In her memory, her family asks that you contribute your time and talents, and perhaps your money, to your favorite worthy cause.